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How to raise a math lover

Updated on September 13, 2011

I know. Numbers aren't your deal. The thought of math without a calculator makes your brain turn to a porridge even Goldilocks wouldn't eat. But it's cool. Don't freak out. You can put up the flash cards. really, you bought them? It's a 3x5 card. You could have made them and saved the ten bucks for something way better. Anyway. Leave those negative feelings at the door. And forget about worksheets. Seriously, have you looked at the bottom of your kid's backpack? Your job is to be excited and positive about learning new ideas and concepts while not being a drill sergeant about the process. This is a monkey see, monkey do opportunity. If you're excited about numbers and how they affect everyday life, then your little monkey will be, too.

The biggest thing is to be positive. So you're not a math major. That doesn't mean you have to impart your insecurities on your child. Remember when you were in school and your parents tried to help you with your math homework. They didn't get it, did they? Why? Because, when they went to school, math was taught differently. Well, same goes for you and your child. If your school was like mine, then the math concepts didn't really pertain to real life situations. Now, children learn how math fits into daily life. It's actually fun to learn math for them. And really, how cool is that?

Let you kids see how you use math everyday. Whether its balancing the checkbook, cooking, working in the garage, or grocery shopping, ask for their help. Talk about how community helpers like doctors, fire fighters, and store owners use math.

Math is not just numbers. Shapes, patterns, and comparison are all part of math. These things lead up to more complex ideas like geometry and physics later in school and in life.

Ask questions. So what if the lady next to you looks at you weird? You're teaching you kid. Maybe she should listen and learn, too. When you're at the store, add things up. Count out cookies for snack. Figure out how many will be left after each family member gets five. Have your child work it out verbally. We're not talking results. This is about the process of working and thinking it out.

Got a calculator? Not on the computer or on your phone. An actual calculator. Let him play with it. Throw some numbers his way, show him the symbols and what they mean. This is better than a Game Boy in the car.

Find out if your child's teacher uses any learning programs on the computer. If she does, see if you can buy it, rent it, use it. It helps connect home and school and helps reinforce concepts learned in school at home.

Also, find out what the teacher recommends in the way of math games that don't involve the computer. This helps the home - school connection and solidifies concepts taught in school.

I hope this helps. And Happy Mathing.

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  • Moon Daisy profile image

    Moon Daisy 

    6 years ago from London

    Great hub! I also have a five-year old daughter, and am trying to raise a maths lover. She seems interested so far, and asks lots of number-related questions. :)

    Your calculator suggestion made me laugh, as way before game boys, I used to love spending time playing on my calculator. Hours of fun!

  • profile image

    basil4lyf 

    6 years ago

    hmm i lyk this interesting strategy you have relayed here. Dealing with Math can be quite tedious for some people so It is a gud thing to implement certain guides for children at a young age.But even with these techniques though people don't really come to term with loving math.Someone i know that is good with helping people tackle their math problems though is Danica McKellar

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